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The House of Representatives is set to vote on legislation introduced in early August that would allow a statue of the famed abolitionist to be moved from a D.C. government building to the U.S. Capitol. The statue of Douglass is one of two that D.C. commissioned in 2006—the second is of Pierre L'Enfant—to join the two busts that every state is entitled to have in the Capitol's Statuary Hall. Objections have been raised to the city's request, with Republicans noting that since D.C. isn't a state, it shouldn't get any statues at all.
In June, though, the Senate approved a compromise measure that would allow D.C. to have one statue in the Capitol complex. In August, Rep. Dan Lungren (R-Calif.) introduced a similar bill in the House. Today it will vote on the bill under a suspension of the rules, meaning that debate is limited and passage is assumed.
“I know that residents are as gratified as I am to see the House considering a bill allowing the District’s Frederick Douglass statue to be moved into the U.S. Capitol,” said D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton in a statement. “The city was so intent on having the Douglass statue here that it commissioned the statue and put it on display at One Judiciary Square. The statue would be placed alongside statues of other distinguished Americans and will be only the third statue or bust of an African American in the Capitol. This placement will be a fitting tribute to one of the nation’s most important human rights heroes.”
There are 180 statues on display in the Capitol, but only two are of African Americans: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Sojourner Truth.
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